Thursday, September 26, 2002

I still stand amazed at the quickness of my healing. I kept thinking I would sink back into a hole over losing Biz, but I just continue to remain thrilled that she was a part of my life and actually glad that she did not suffer long. I even have a pang of guilt from time to time that I am not still overtly grieving, because part of me says if Biz really meant anything to me I should still be in mourning. But I dismiss that thought as of Satan, for it is a lie.

The support and prayers I received from my husband, my friends and kind souls who emailed me to share their similar struggles really helped me. My faith in Jesus Christ and His promise that "all things work together for good for those that love Him and are called according to His purposes" - Romans 8:28 - sustained me.

If you are going through the ordeal of cancer with your feline companion, I urge you strongly to find a friend that will just sit and listen to you and comfort you. If you are not in a position like that at this time, I suggest you check in to the pet-loss forums and/or chat rooms. Feel free to email me (see link in left column) as well.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

I have turned the corner. I am surprised it happened this quickly.

Sunday afternoon, I suddenly realized that when I think of Biz, the good memories come forth much more quickly than last week, and the deep sorrow and pain I experienced has been replaced by simple sadness. My heart still hurts some, but it does not get stabbed like it did last week. I'm thankful for that.

As an only child of an only child with no children of my own, I realized that my deep loss over Biz was because to me, in a sense, she was my "child." Since I have no nieces or nephews or first cousins, I've never really been around children, and so, in that sense, too, Biz was my "only child." To me, that explains why I was so bonded with her and why it hurt me so much to lose her.

She will always hold a special place in my heart.   And, I'm thankful that it seems my hurt heart is healing.   Biz, my beloved.

Sunday, September 22, 2002

It was one week ago this morning that I noticed Biz really struggling to breathe and made the decision to put her to sleep. This whole week has been a mixture of pain, sorrow, grief, anger, wistfulness and denial. Just when I think I'm starting to heal, something reminds me of Biz and I get teary-eyed again. But, I'm pretty sure all what I'm feeling is completely normal.

I found some help at the Pet Loss Support Page. One paragraph on that webpage says, "People who don't understand the pet/owner bond may not understand your pain. All that matters, however, is how you feel. Don't let others dictate your feelings: They are valid, and may be extremely painful. But remember, you are not alone: Thousands of pet owners have gone through the same feelings." That helped me know that I'm not crazy for being so affected by Biz's death.

I remembered yesterday that I had a little digital recorder that had me conversing with Biz (and Zach, our other cat) a couple of years ago. As I listened to Biz talking to me on the recorder, I realized that I cherish this snippet of aliveness and that I didn't want to lose it, so I'm going to record it to my hard drive for backup purposes in case the digital recorder loses its mind. Having this soundbyte of Biz is like a little treasure.

Now, I wonder if I have her on videotape anywhere? Would it be too hard to watch? Yes, right now it would be. But later...after some healing...I would like to see Biz on video. Perhaps those of you reading this who don't have some electronic memory of your pet would need to do something to remedy that before your pet gets to a point where you don't want to remember him/her that way? Just a thought...

Friday, September 20, 2002

I went and visited Biz's grave yesterday afternoon for the first time since I buried her. As I approached the spot in our backyard about 100 yards behind the house at the edge of the treeline, I noticed a tree to the left of Biz's grave was being gently blown by the wind. I'm not sure what kind of tree it is, but it has fairly long fronds on it, and the breeze was moving the fronds in a pattern that looked like the tree was waving to me. Beckoning me to Biz's grave, telling me it's OK.

I touched the large blocks of leftover marble from our fireplace covering Biz's grave, and knew for sure that I need some kind of memorial marker. After a lengthy search on the 'Net for appropriate and relatively inexpensive markers and stones, I've about decided to go it myself. We have a sandblaster in our garage and I can buy a stencil to cut a pattern in so I could make the marker any way I liked.

I've noticed that several people have arrived at this Biz chronicle and tribute after searching for piroxicam in felines or other similar search. I never posted a picture of what Biz's piroxicam salmon-flavored soft treats look like, so here they are. They were mixed up by Don Walker, the pharmacist at the Medicine Shoppe in Maryville, TN:

Piroxicam (Feldene) salmon-flavored "treats"

The treats came in an individually sealed "blister pack." Biz was supposed to get two treats/day, 0.8mg of piroxicam/treat based on her 12.5 pounds.

I'd like to share that while Biz did not suffer from one of the major side effects of piroxicam (intestinal bleeding), she still died after being diagnosed with SCC within one day of another cat who did not take piroxicam, and who was diagnosed about the same time as Biz. However, the tumor growth on the other cat was much faster, indicated by the size of it in comparison to Biz's in a picture that was sent to me by the cat's owner.

Was Biz's quality of life better than the other cat's because her tumor was smaller due to the piroxicam? I cannot answer that for sure, but I am laying this out for those that are dealing with the question about whether or not to give piroxicam to their cats with SCC or other cancers. I say it sure can't hurt to give them the piroxicam, as long as the stool is monitored for signs of blood that would indicate intestinal bleeding. It seems the piroxicam really did slow the growth of the tumor in Biz in comparison with the other cat.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

I've been very touched by some folks who share my pain; they've lost cats within the last week themselves to SCC.

They've each emailed me with their stories, so eerily parallel to Biz's that it brings comfort in a way to me (someone else knows exactly how I feel), but also multiplies my pain since I know exactly how they feel.

I've hemmed and hawed a bit over the last few days about being so verbose in my postings. For one thing, in this soundbyte-laden world, folks don't have the time or don't want to take the time to slog through all my ramblings/musings/feelings. However, I really appreciated the detail in the other blogs dealing with feline SCC on the 'Net, so I am hoping that I'm helping someone like I was helped.

I had the most wonderful vision yesterday evening during choir practice. We were singing a song called "Jesus Be Praised." In the last stanza, I envisioned myself one-on-one with Jesus, singing to Him that I praise Him, and that all of Heaven and Earth declares His Name, when it occurred to me that He was standing there, smiling...and holding Biz. Oh, Lord, my Lord! Thank You for that! How wonderful it felt to know that He knows and understands my pain and that Biz is OK. It's not that I really believe Biz is in Heaven with Jesus waiting on me, but just the fact that He was holding her and they were both bright, loving, warm, calm, happy and peaceful made me really feel good. Delightful.

Jesus, be praised.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Another day has passed since Biz left this Earth. What's bothering me now is this denial phase I'm in. I just cannot bring myself to believe at times that she is gone. I keep expecting to see her coming around the corner in her usual, casual way, rear claws clicking on the hardwood floor.

While I know in my head that she is gone, my heart keeps expecting to see her again.

And then there are the really bad thoughts that popup and torture me. What if she really wasn't really fully gone when I buried her? Was there any life left in her? Oh! Don't let it be so, Lord! Get thee behind me, Satan. Do not torture me, you are not welcome in my thoughts. Biz was released from her suffering; she was truly gone. The Vet always does checks to make sure they are fully gone. Biz is at peace.

I still have awakened every morning thinking of her...thinking it's time to get up and mix up some special food for her...until I suddenly recall that she is not here. Some relief comes when I know that I don't have to worry about whether or not she'll eat or take her medicine. She is at peace, not struggling anymore.

I think of her from time to time during the day, and have worked to the point to where when I look at the picture of her beside my desk, I smile and feel happy that we had the times we did. There is still a twinge of pain over the loss, but more and more fondness over the good memories. That's good.

It's harder when I'm home, since I keep expecting to see her. I must say that having another cat has definitely eased my grieving burden. Zach is a very warm, loving cat; a people cat. While I miss my interactions with Biz, I'm thankful that Zach is here. Of course, no one can take Biz's place, but Zach takes away some of the emptiness in my heart.

One day at a time. I still have not gone out to Biz's grave yet. Part of me wants to, but most of me doesn't. Yet.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

I just learned about an interesting twist in my Biz saga.

Here in the Knoxville, TN area, we had a train derailment on Sunday that caused the evacuation of thousands of people due to a sulfuric acid leak and subsequent cloud/irritating vapors. Some of those thousands of people had to leave their pets behind.

On Monday, some of those folks were allowed to go get their pets, and they brought them to a tent set up especially for examinations to see if any medical problems were evident. And who was there to give those examinations? The Visiting Vet! The same caring person that took care of me and Biz.

If Biz had lasted one more day, then the Visiting Vet would have been attending to the (mostly just dehydrated and not adversly affected) pets, and she might not have been able to come take care of Biz for hours. Again, I'm thankful that Biz did not suffer for very long.

Scroll down (note, the link may have already "fallen off" the page by now) and click on "Getting Pets from Evacuated Area" to see some video of the pets being examined, and see the Visiting Vet in person!

Monday, September 16, 2002

I really, really thought that yesterday would be my last posting about Biz.

And then I realized that her story continues, because she was such a part of me, and I'm continuing on. And that others who are going through this experience don't suddenly stop thinking about their beloved pets just because they're gone, because I sure haven't!

So, I thought I should continue this chronicle to share what I'm feeling now that Biz is gone.

I find myself still automatically looking in the places where she used to sleep. She's not there, I think. Oh, yeah, I remind myself, she's gone. Sadness. Hurt. Tears well up. I bite my lip. She's not in pain, not suffering anymore. Feelings of relief mix with the sadness. Flashes of her meowing, playing, purring, squinting her eyes in trust at me pass before my eyes. Momentary joy ensues, followed by the realization that she is gone. Sadness again. All of this happens in the twinkling of an eye.

Folks at work were sympathetic, and wanted to check on me. I posted a picture of Biz on my office door, and wrote on the whiteboard by my door, "Biz the cat: 08/09/88-09/15/02" It's my own memorial. I plan to take it down tomorrow because I wanted everyone to know I'm grieving, but I didn't want them to dwell on it or think that I'm dwelling. Even if I am really dwelling.

I thought about getting a little marker for Biz's grave. Just some small marble thing, something simple. Not a tombstone that sticks up, but a marker that lays flat on the ground or low to the ground like at some military cemetaries.

I did look this afternoon on the 'Net about whether or not animals have souls. It does bother me that I may not see Biz again, because I believe what the Bible teaches that only those that accept Jesus Christ into their hearts will enter Heaven. And there doesn't seem to be any direct information about animals' souls, except some info about nephesh hayyah (living souls) in Genesis that seems to indicate that animals are living souls. But there will be no pain, no sorrow in Heaven, so if Biz isn't there, I won't know it. If she is there, she will add to my wonder and enjoyment of Heaven. Also, I will be so awed, so enveloped by the love of Christ in Heaven that whether or not Biz is there will probably not matter. Just to be with my Creator Jesus and living in His Light will be enough.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, I find myself missing Biz while also being very thankful that she was a part of my life. I feel regret at the memories of the times that I ignored her or had other things to do besides pay attention to her. I sit in disbelief that she is gone. I get angry with myself that I didn't take her to the Vet more often, even though it was such a horrible, stressful experience. But, deep down, I know I did the right thing by making the decision to release her suffering when I did. I feel like I played God, but I also know He gave mankind dominion over the animals.

More to come as I sort through my thoughts and emotions. Thank you for being with me and reading along.

Sunday, September 15, 2002

Tribute to Biz:

Biz, my beloved. You are not in pain anymore, you are not suffering. You gave me love and only asked for food and petting in return.

You were with me through some very difficult times and it was very difficult to let you go.

But the Visiting Vet said I did the right thing. Her pupils were dialated, indicating that she was in pain. The cancer had spread to her lungs and she would have continued to struggle for breath until she finally died. She was released from her suffering.

The hardest part about putting Biz to sleep was that she did the one thing I was afraid she would do: she freaked out when the Visiting Vet tried to do anything with her. With her last strength, her fear of being handled by a stranger took over and she tried to get away. I had to catch her myself and hold her while the Vet tried to wrap her in a towel and squirt some relaxant in her mouth. Biz let out one big hiss and the Vet squirted the stuff in her mouth. We let Biz go, and she went out on the screened in porch, where she relaxed a bit, but she was still wary and scared and drooling badly. I couldn't bear to watch her.

The Vet went out on the porch and gave her a shot and she howled. That hurt me badly. But she started relaxing after that and I went to her and said final good byes. I left her with the Vet to put a catheter in a vein to give her the overdose of pain medicine that would take her life. After Biz was gone, the Vet wrapped Biz up and brought her to me. She was very relaxed. Her eyes were open, and that bothered me some, and I couldn't really close them. But she was peaceful.

I am so very thankful that my husband was here with me. I'd always imagined I'd go this alone, but him being here to hold me and comfort me really helped tremendously. He was supposed to be teaching Sunday School this morning, but he called the church and said he was staying with me. I sure am glad he did.

On the sixth day, God created animals. Genesis 1:24-25: "And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good."

Biz was good. She has returned to the Earth. She's in a spot in the backyard that I can go visit her memory anytime I like.

Thank you very kindly for all of you reading this who prayed for me. I'll never know the depth of strength that your prayers brought to me, and for that, I am deeply grateful.

Biz, my beloved. I love you and you'll always be "my kitty" and "my little pookie." Corny, but true. Rest in Peace: 10:20am, 9/15/02.

Biz is really struggling to breathe this morning. I did get to feed her some of the Hill's A/D with a piroxicam treat smushed up in it, but I feel like she's tired of struggling and it may be close to the time for her to die.

I called the Visiting Vet a few minutes ago (~0830 Eastern) to see if there was anything I could do for Biz, and she quizzed me on her respiration frequency. It's relatively slow. She said if it was relatively quick or if she was mouth breathing, then that meant she wasn't getting enough oxygen, and that would be the next stage towards dying. She said Biz would probably go to the next stage today, so I asked her to come over and put Biz out of her suffering.

I'm now awaiting for the Vet to get here to put Biz to sleep.

Biz, my beloved. I do not want you to suffer. My desire for you to not suffer greatly outweighs my desire for you to continue to be with me. I'm almost surprised at my calmness. Go in peace, my beloved Biz. Perhaps, God willing, I'll see you in Heaven.

Saturday, September 14, 2002

We just got back from our daytrip and Biz seems to be doing OK. I warmed up a tablespoon+ of Hill's A/D and added some water (not in that order) she ate it all, basically. However, after she was done, when she was swallowing and "licking her chops," it seemed like her nose was stuffed up, like she was having to mouth-breathe. I wonder if the tumor has most of her nasal passage blocked off, and I wonder if the other side is still open enough for her to breathe when she's sleeping (or will she automatically mouth breathe?)

Anyway, Biz doesn't seem any worse for the wear. We were gone for 14 hours. I need to weigh Biz; I can tell she's thinner.
Well, we're going on our trip today (back this evening, so it's really just like an extended work day). This morning, Biz seems to be doing relatively OK; I warmed up some of the Hill's A/D and added water to make it a paste, and took it to Biz, sitting on a couch.

When I walked up to the couch, Biz looked at me expectantly, and almost with anticipation. Made me feel good, like she wanted to eat. I stuck some food on my finger and after a bit of hesitancy, she licked it off. I tried to set the plate with the food beside/in front of her, but it wasn't a good fit with her on the couch, so I got some more of the food paste on my fingers, and she continued to lick it off, so I did that for the whole teaspoon and a half of food that I'd prepared. I was glad, and it didn't seem to bother her mouth tooo much.

I hope she continues to rest relatively comfortably during the day. It's obvious that she's lost weight, and I hope to weigh her soon, but the time hasn't been right here lately, since she doesn't like to be picked up and I don't want to stress her out by doing that to weigh her.

After almost a week of not taking any amoxycillin or piroxicam, her tumor does not seem to be growing much, which surprises me a bit. I took some digital camera pictures of Biz yesterday, and hope to post one on here soon, perhaps tomorrow.

Biz, my beloved.

Friday, September 13, 2002

Biz did not originally eat the food, but later, she went to the litter box, and I tried again as she came into the kitchen. I put about a tablespoon of Hill's A/D mixed with some water and heated it up briefly in the microwave. I set the plate in front of Biz and she smelled it and seemed to want it, but was still hesitant, so I put some on my finger and put it up to her and she licked it off! She then proceeded to eat almost the whole tablespoon's worth.

This is the first sustenance she'd had since the chicken on Wednesday. I also saw her a few minutes later drinking a lot of water. She seems to be resting fairly comfortable now, although her nose still obviously itches (although she doesn't sneeze as much now).

The Vet said that it was unlikely that since Biz is up and around and ate some food that she would die tomorrow, so I feel a little better about leaving all day tomorrow to go to the family picnic. The Vet also suggested that trying to feed Biz small amounts of the Hill's A/D would be a good idea.
I talked with the Visiting Vet this morning. She said that if she goes for many days without eating, her liver will be affected and she'll become jaundiced. And, of course, that's not good. She knew of an animal that had gone two weeks without eating and had recovered, but this was an animal not affected by cancer (I believe). I know Biz is not going to recover (barring some miracle), but if she could eat some, I think she would feel better (?). Maybe it's just me that would feel better. Am I being too selfish?

She suggested getting some Hills A/D canned food for anorexic cats. When I stopped by Emory Animal Hospital a while ago to pick up the Hill's A/D ($1.05/can), they said that they didn't know of a cat (or dog) that had refused A/D. (It's surprisingly the same can for felines and canines). Of course, that cat or dog was probably truly hungry and not suffering from cancer in their mouths, but we'll see.

The Vet also suggested getting some Gatorade to see if she'll drink that so she could get some fluids/electrolytes.

Right now, Biz is under the bed and doesn't want to come out. I'm going to get some of the food (about a tablespoon, the Vet said) and warm it up and set it by the bed to see if Biz will make an attempt to eat it. If she doesn't, I'm not sure what to do next. My husband and I are supposed to go to a family picnic about 2 hours away tomorrow for the day and I'm afraid Biz will die alone while I'm gone.

This is very hard. If you're the praying kind, would you mind stopping for just a moment and praying for me? I need strength, wisdom and courage. And please pray that Biz would not suffer. Thank you.
Biz would not eat anything last night nor this morning. As a matter of fact, she barely responded to me at all this morning. It was one last petting session this morning before I left for work in which she did start a quiet purr.

Thus, she hasn't had any medicine or food that I know of (except for the smattering of chicken Wed. evening) since Monday evening. I don't think she's drinking water, either, but I just can't tell. I only have one water bowl for both of my cats, so Zach could be the sole cat who is making the water level in the bowl decrease.

She can still get up and walk around and jump up on the couch to one of her favorite spots. Part of me wants to syringe feed her, but another part is telling me that I shouldn't try to force anything on her because it might be traumatic for her. There's also still small voice telling me that Biz is OK with dying and that it's a very natural part of her existence.

Is she days away from needing to be put to sleep? Weeks? How long can she go without food and water? I'm going to call the Visiting Vet this morning and get her input. I had chosen relatively early on, at the Vet's suggestion, three things to set in stone that if Biz wasn't doing them anymore, then it was time. Two of them, eating and drinking, have come to pass. The third one was one I kinda left up in the air, but purring was one of the possibilities.

I think responding to me with purring or acknowledgement of my presence is the third thing. And she barely did that this morning. And yet, her coat is still shiny and she can still get up and move around. I don't want to put her to sleep too "early," but I also do not want her to suffer.

I gotta talk with the Vet.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Biz did eat just a smattering of chicken last night and one little pinch off of a piroxicam salmon-favored treat. This morning, however, I couldn't interest her in anything at all.

She doesn't groom herself much any more, so I make it a point to brush/comb her every day. I get a real bonus when she purrs while I'm brushing her.

My husband wisely reminded me last night that I should not try to force Biz to eat, but should just make her as comfortable as possible. I will try hard to focus on that.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

With the remembrance and solemness of today, 9/11, I find myself getting a reality check on my emotions about Biz. Biz is just a cat. Yes, a very special cat to me, but still, just a cat.

How many children are awaking this morning without a Mommy or a Daddy due to the terrorist acts in New York and Washington and Pennsylvania? The magnitude of their loss is comparatively enormous to mine.

My prayers go to the families that were touched by this terrorist attack. My heart fills with rage as I think of the terrorists and their ways. And yet, I stand on the Word of God which says, "Vengance is mine, saith the Lord." One day, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father. The terrorists (and all of us, for that matter) will have no choice but to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, whether or not they recoginzed Him as such during their Earthly journey.

And He will repay.

Meanwhile, I will continue to make Biz as comfortable as possible, and encourage her to eat soft foods. I've tried Fancy Feast and other canned foods in the past, but Biz always throws them right back up. Must be something in the processed food that she is allergic to. So, this morning, I added some water to her dry food (Science Diet Hairball Lite) and smushed it up into a paste. She still refused. Last night she walked several laps around the kitchen, approaching her food plate (that had unsmushed dry food on it), seemingly wanting to eat, but ultimately walking away only to return in a minute or two. It pained me to see her hungry yet not able to eat because her mouth hurts. Perhaps I will try some chicken broth this evening.

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Well, Biz didn't eat at all last night nor this morning. I followed her around last night for a long time, and she finally did eat one or two bites of chicken, but then jumped away from the plate spitting out the chicken and it was mixed with blood. I comforted her and pet her and told her she was OK.

About an hour later, she was settled down for a nap and I fed her two small pieces of her salmon medicine treat and she ate them OK, but on the third small piece, she let out a yelp and spit it out. It, too, had a little blood on it, so apparently, it's just too painful for Biz to eat any more.

I didn't sleep well at all last night, wondering all the "should I's." Should I try harder to encourage her to eat? Should I mix up something I could feed in a syringe (she hasn't taken syringe feeding well at all in the past)? Should I just let her starve to death if the cancer doesn't get her first? How could I do such a thing? Should I call the Visiting Vet and get her suggestions? Should I try chicken broth? But then, how do I feed her her medicine treats? Should I even bother because eating is such torture? This is all so very hard. I feel like if I don't try hard to encourage her to eat that I'm "letting her down and not being a good caregiver" but I don't want to cause her pain by encouraging her to eat.

The person who wrote to me about giving her cat, Fido, the essiac tea (see the entry for 8/29) said she stopped for a day giving Fido the tea, but has resumed since it can't hurt. She also sent along a photo of Fido, and it grieved me to see him with one side of his face swollen, like Biz's, but worse. Fido is also sneezing and coughing, and has trouble eating like Biz. Our stories are almost parallel.

God gently reminded me through my husband this morning that animals just know when it's their time and it's "OK" with them to go through the natural cycle of dying. Again, I am reminded of Scripture, Matthew 10:29, "not one sparrow falls to the ground apart from the Father's will." His Word comforts me.

Monday, September 09, 2002

I had a bigger struggle than usual trying to feed Biz this morning. She ate one bite of her canned chicken (after much encouragement to start eating) and didn't touch any of her medicine treats (piroxicam and amoxycillin).

So, for the next 20 minutes, in between taking a shower to get ready for work, I followed her around the house, putting the dish in front of her with the chicken that was left and the medicine treats, encouraging her to eat. She refused. She would look at it, and sometimes even lean down like she was going to eat it, but then, like someone had poked her in the side or something, she'd quickly get up and leave.

In the last few days, when Biz refused her food, I could take a part of a treat by itself and put it in front of her and she'd eat it. Then, I'd get another part of a treat individually and put it in front of her, and so on, until she had eaten the whole treat. This morning, I couldn't even get her to eat a part of a treat.

So, I got ready for work, sad and defeated, but tried one more time for her to eat her medicine treat. She was on the bed in a sleeping position, so I just set the treat in front of her face and she ate it! I was able to feed her both of the treats this way. (I need to put a picture on my website so you can get an idea of what a treat looks like...)

It's just getting harder and harder to get her to eat. I don't think she's eating her dry food anymore, and it's hard to tell, because the dry food on her plate usually disappears during the day, but it could be my other cat, Zach, eating it (he has his own dry food dish, as well).

I'm not sure how effective the amoxycillin has been; Biz still has some discharge from her eye that is cloudy. The cloudiness may be a little less than before she started the amoxycillin, but I'm just not sure. I have not seen any blood on the side of her mouth, though, and she has not thrown up any more blood, so maybe the amoxycillin helped there.

I have a business trip next month, and I'm already worried about it: what will I do with Biz? My husband does not have the patience or interest to follow Biz around the house to encourage her to eat. I can't take her to the kennel/local Vet, because she freaks out so much when I take her and it's hard on her and me. I know I worry too much, but it's hard not to when I want Biz to be as comfortable as possible and be exposed to as little stress as possible.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

When I came home from work on Tuesday, I found about three tablesoons of blood on the carpet. My heart lept as I went in search for Biz. She was acting and looking normal.

I called the Visiting Vet and she said that the tumor mass is probably causing bleeding in her mouth, which she is subsequently swallowing. She asked me to look at Biz's ears and gums to check for pinkness. There's no way Biz would let me look at her gums without great struggle, but her ears (the earflaps) looked normal color. If they seemed to be gray or white, then that would have been an indication that Biz is losing lots of blood. Biz's stool was normal color, too, so that was good. Perhaps this was a relatively isolated incident. Still, it scared me.

We also started Biz on amoxycillin to see if that will help any infection that Biz may have - as I mentioned earlier, some of the discharge from her left eye was cloudy, indicating some form of infection. Don Walker, the pharmacist at The Medicine Shoppe mixed the amoxycillin in a salmon-flavored treat and Biz seems to like them OK.

I've changed my feeding routine a bit. I used to warm up some canned chicken and tear the salmon-flavored piroxicam-laced treat into little pieces and mix it up with the chicken, but now I've started feeding the medicine treats first, by themselves, and then some canned chicken. I also leave Hill's Science Diet Hairball lite dry food out for grazing during the day and she still eats the dry food (I would think it would hurt her tender mouth, but she chews well on the side opposite the tumor).

Other than the blood on the carpet, Biz seems to be doing relatively well. She still sneezes often. I still have to encourage her to start eating, but once she starts, she usually eats all of the small portion of chicken I give her.

Sunday, September 01, 2002

I noticed Thursday when I came home from work and was on the floor encouraging Biz to eat her food that there was a small amount of blood coming out of her mouth on the side of the tumor.

I had already talked to the Visiting Vet that day about starting Biz on antibiotics again since the discharge from her weeping eye (the one on the side of the cancer) had some cloudiness to it. She said that means infection. I think the blood coming from Biz's mouth is also a sign of infection and also when Biz sneezes, it is really beginning to sound like there's fluid in her nasal passages (that really doesn't come out much when she sneezes, so there can't be that much fluid) and maybe that's another sign of infection.

I told the Visiting Vet that I still had some amoxycillin left over from when Biz was first showing a bump on her face, but what I actually had was Cephalexin, which, even mixed up in the salmon-flavored treats, has a very strong odor and Biz won't eat them. So, I put in a call to the Vet to see if she would call in a prescription for amoxycillin, hoping that its odor won't be as strong. Unfortunately, I probably won't be able to start Biz on the amoxycillin or other antibiotic until Monday or Tuesday, due to the Labor Day holiday.

Other than the small amount of blood coming from her mouth, Biz is still doing about the same. I stopped applying the Benedryl gel to the inside of her earflap because it did not seem to be helping her in any way. I continue to monitor her stool, and sometimes see parts of it that are darkened, which may indicate blood coming from her digestive system (a side effect of the piroxicam), but it doesn't happen all the time and most of the stool is the normal color.

Biz, my beloved.